Freedom of expression takes another hit in the Middle East

Seems Saudi Arabia and the UAE have learned a lesson from the Iran digital revolution. But it is the wrong lesson.

Rather than look at ways to harness the wishes and desires of their people to make their societies better and make the government more responsive to the needs of the people, these autocratic governments have decided to block instant messaging.

First it was the UAE. And now it is Saudi Arabia.

The blocks are not just on instant messages but also Blackberry e-mail and web access.

It is no surprise that the royal families are concerned. If too many people start to use their smart phones to express their opinions without being tossed in jail, they may start getting other people doing the same. And next thing you know the people will be demanding freedom of assembly, free press and elections.

Now what autocrat would allow such a thing to happen?

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Filed under Freedom of access, Freedom of Information, Middle East

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